Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FLOWSENSYS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 270597
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Germany

New sensors for efficient aircraft

Researchers have developed a microfluidic sensor system to control aeroplane wing-flaps more precisely. The work contributes to a greater European strategy for lowering the environmental impact of aircraft.
New sensors for efficient aircraft
It is envisioned that by 2020, aircraft should have significantly reduced fuel costs and increased overall efficiency. Improved microfluidics control would enable shorter take-off and landing distances, thereby reducing associated costs and noise pollution.

The EU-funded 'Flow sensor system for the separation detection at low speed in view of flight' (FLOWSENSYS) project aimed to build a sensor system to monitor flow separation at low speeds. This would allow for closed-loop active flow control (AFC) of trailing edge flaps.

The project first reviewed the available sensor technologies for this application to narrow the choice of sensor. In parallel, a sensor layout was developed as the backbone of a sensor array that could be installed into new aircraft.

Next, several sensors were tested with and without flow separation to compare their sensitivity. The most promising sensors were selected for further testing in a wind tunnel. A realistic (swept and tapered) wing model was built to test the sensors in relevant conditions.

The FLOWSENSYS project eventually showed that the Airbus micro-dot surface hot film sensors could accurately detect the state of flow in a microfluidics system. That sensor system is now available to be incorporated into larger European aeronautics research projects.

Related information


Microfluidics, sensor, aircraft, active flow control, trailing edge flaps, Airbus micro-dot surface hot film sensors
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